NWGA Scanner | October 29th, 2021
According to a Georgia State Patrol incident report, on October 15th, 2021, at approximately 7:51 PM, Trooper Terry was on patrol on GA-53 when he observed a black SUV with a faulty left headlight. Trooper Terry reported, “As the vehicle passed, [I] observed the driver was not wearing her seat belt. Originally, [I] approached the vehicle and requested the driver’s license. The driver, later identified as Lauren Whitney Griswold, 39, of Calhoun, very angrily demanded to know why [I] had stopped her.” The trooper advised her he would advise her why once she provided her driver’s license. Trooper Terry reported, “At this time, [I] could tell that there was something for sure out of the norm with the driver. Based on her argumentative and defiant behavior [I] suspected there is a good possibility of other criminal activity at foot.” The trooper looked in the rear passenger area in the vehicle and noticed four juveniles that were not restrained properly. According to the report, In the middle row seating area, there was a four-year-old female and a one-year-old female. Both were in a forward-facing car seat, but their straps were extremely loose. The one sitting on the right also had one of the buckle clips undone in her seat. Griswold continued to be very argumentative and demanded why she was stopped. According to the report, Her front right passenger kept attempting to get her to calm down. According to the report, Griswold finally gave the trooper her driver’s license. The trooper then advised her why she was stopped. Griswold stated she had been given multiple warnings already and asked the trooper if he needed their names and badge numbers. Trooper Terry reported, “[I] then addressed the issues with the child restraints. She sarcastically and angrily stated she would just go in Wal-Mart then and buy them all new car seats.” The trooper asked Griswold if she would speak with him at the rear of the vehicle. She gave him a disgusted look and eventually stepped out. Griswold then got more argumentative and upset with the trooper. According to the report, she then advised the trooper didn’t know what she’s been through. Trooper Terry reported, “[I] then advised her again [I] just didn’t understand why she was being so very confrontational. [I] then advised her she was going to be receiving several citations for the improper seat belts and to stay at the rear of her vehicle. She continued to curse at me and accuse me of having nothing better to do than to harass a woman and her children at night.” Due to her attitude, the trooper requested Trooper Daniel respond and stand by. The passenger for the second time during the traffic stop, exited the vehicle and was then advised by the trooper she was fixing to go to jail. According to the report, Griswold then advised she was not going to jail. Then Ms. Griswold, the driver, got even more upset and started yelling for her front passenger to call the police. Now the driver was making a scene and was disturbing the pedestrians in the parking lot to the left of where they were located. Trooper Terry reported, “By this time, Ms. Griswold, the driver, had not only continued to be argumentative with me and causing the traffic stop to last much longer than it should, but she was also now instructing her passenger to defy my lawful orders. [I] then decided to attempt and neutralize the situation [I] was going to place the driver under arrest for obstruction and disorderly conduct. [I] advised her she was under arrest and told her to place her hands behind her back. She jerked away from me. [I] continued to advise her to place her hands behind her back, and she began screaming and still demanding to know why [I] stopped her.” The trooper had already advised her numerous times. The passenger then became argumentative and would not comply with any commands to get back in the vehicle. According to the report, The trooper attempted to explain the situation to her, but she either was unable to understand or simply refused to. After continuing on in my investigation, I attempted again to explain to the passenger why what she had been doing was illegal and why. She again became argumentative. She then started to physically resist arrest while attempting to escort her to the rear of the patrol vehicle. She was still yelling to the pedestrians in the parking area to call the police. Trooper Terry reported, “Later, after considering the totality of the circumstances, [I] decided not to charge the passenger. [I] believe the way she was acting was because of the poor example set by her mother and her total disregard for the law.” Prior to turning the vehicle and juveniles over to the passenger, [I] checked the small children’s car seats and educated Ms. Griswold on several things to ensure the children were in their seats properly.” Griswold was transported to the Gordon County Jail charged with child restraint, disorderly conduct, failure to wear a seat belt, headlights, safety belts-children, and willful obstruction of law enforcement officers.